In today's Court of Appeals opinions:
In Riner v. Commonwealth, written by Judge Elder, the court affirmed the convictions for murder, arson, and petit larceny of Charles Riner, who was apprehended in Panama after his wife's death. Interestingly, the court granted Riner's motion to enlarge his petition for appeal, over the Commonwealth's objection, to include his venue arguments, which were then rejected in part for failure to preserve them in the trial court and also rejected on grounds that the publicity about the case was not that far wrong about Riner's trip to Panama. Riner also raised issues about juror misconduct, the participation of a private prosecutor, the admissibility of pawn shop records about rings allegedly sold by Riner. Riner is represented by Roger Groot and Tom Scott.
In Cary v. Commonwealth, written by Judge Robert Frank, the court held the trial court did not err in denying the defendant's motion to suppress his confession, despite his arguments that he was an ignorant juvenile at the time of his confession.
In Powhatan Correctional Center v. Mitchell-Riggleman, written by Senior Judge Coleman, the court remanded a workers' compensation case for redetermination of whether the claimant was entitled to cost-of-living-adjustment benefits.
In Norman v. Commonwealth, written by Judge Humphreys, the court rejected defendant's argument that he could not be convicted of after having been adjudged a habitual offender since his driving privileges had been restored prior to his arrest. (The short answer was that his driving privileges had not really been restored.)
In Blackson v. Blackson, written by Judge Walter Felton, the court affirmed the trial court on the issue of whether it had subject-matter jurisdiction of the divorce case, based on the wife's domicile and residency in Virginia, and on the issue of the trial court's personal jurisdiction over the husband, despite his claim that the wife's fraud lured him into Virginia, on the trial court's division of the husband's military pension, applying the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act, and finally on the trial court's award to the wife of $20,000 in attorneys' fees.
In Montague v Commonwealth, written by Judge Frank, the court affirmed a conviction for unauthorized use of an automobile, in a case where the trial court said after a bench trial regarding the defendant that "I wouldn't believe him if he told me it was daylight."